Ultralite Amps - non class D

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Neil, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Neil

    Neil Supporting Member

    I was wondering what amps are available that are considered "ultralite" but that are not class D.

    I've heard that the MarkBass Little Mark heads are an A/B class. Are there any others heads out there that are not a class D but are "ultralite"?
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    probably just the ones that don't have any power ;)
  3. Neil

    Neil Supporting Member

    I guess it is what it is....there is no such thing as a free lunch.
  4. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    walkabout is light at about a dozen, but not exactly ultra.
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    what's wrong with class D? you get raging power with no weight. all PA amps are going this way for a reason.
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Maybe you'd be looking for something in A/B with an SMPS? Anyway, the Eden WT-300 is 13 pounds.
  7. Neil

    Neil Supporting Member

    IMHO they just don't have the impact of an A/B amp. I've tried a few and for me they just don't cut it.
  8. IntrepidCellist


    Sep 10, 2009
    Which ones have you tried? My TH500 is pretty solid-sounding and authoritative. Certainly more so than my buddy's GK 800RB.

    Also, my Eden WT400 is like 15 lbs, which was pretty "micro" for its day.
  9. Neil

    Neil Supporting Member

    Hi there Mike. What is SMPS? Thanks.
  10. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
  11. Neil

    Neil Supporting Member

    Ahhhh thank you.
  12. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Depends on what you think is "ultralite" and what you expect from the amp.

    Class-ab is 50% efficient where class-d is 90%+
    Class-ab needs heat sinks, cooling tunnels, and bigger fans. And to be light weight they need a SMPS which most purist think is inferior to large transformers. SMPS is more efficient and used for decades in Computers. Like the ones that handle your bank account and run the internet.

    It's one or the other. Big heavy transformer or SMPS. Big heavier heat-sinks and more devices or class-d.

    As far as high power applications, class-ab is a dead end.

    Look at all the high power amplifier manufacturers, crown, crest, qsc, .... all new development in amplifiers is non class-ab. They may not call it "class-d" but it is just a twist on it.

    And the thing is - you can't hear a difference. Class-ab and Class-d are sonically identical in big power amps. Feel free to interchange class-ab as you find it. It sounds the same. Many new bass amps are going the same route as they generally lag developments in FOH.

    Turns out lightweight is reliable, efficient, and no loss of tone. Go figure.
  13. Neil

    Neil Supporting Member

    I picked up an MB800 and while it sounds really nice playing it in my house it really it doesn't cut it on a loud gig. It's not that it's not loud enough because it is pretty loud. It's more like the notes just don't have impact.
  14. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    It might be more about that amp, the gain, and/or the eq you had, than it is about "class-d" in general.
  15. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Or the cabs the amp was hooked up to.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I have a Micro VR and a PF350. Micro VR is class AB, PF350 is class D. Other than the PF350 having slightly more volume and more headroom, they sound identical in every way. Myth busted.
  17. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    i've played the LMIII and been lost in the mix, and the same with a GK Backline. My Mesa M6 fixes that, but not always right out of the gate. i've also managed to make all three amps work with some knob twiddling or cab switching.

    as for Class D, i'm about ready to dive in.
  18. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    i have no sonic 'impact', punch or volume issues with my GB streamliner 900 or my SVT7 Pro, or even my Yamaha BBT500H, and all of them are class D.
  19. R Baer

    R Baer Commercial User

    Jun 5, 2008
    President, Baer Amplification
    +1 I played an Eden WT550 for years and still consider it one of the best sounding lightweight amps out there. The Mesa Walkabout is also awesome, but with less power. The MarkBass LM series is class A/B with a switch mode power supply and is probably my favorite of the "ultralite" amps without a traditional output transformer. Guess it depends on what your definition of ultralite is. If you're looking for an amp under 6lbs., or so, then it's going to be class D.
  20. I've used a number of lightweights over the years (Acoustic Image, TC, Streamliner) and, while they were all OK (apart from the TC which I hated) they all missed 'something'.

    In the end I went back to a Walkabout. Not too big, but it has the authority that the others lack IME.

    Of course the trade-off is a bit of extra weight, less power and less features, but it's worthy trade-off.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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